Transfer window has been ‘eye-opener’ for Colchester United manager

John McGreal

John McGreal

Colchester United first-team coach John McGreal declared himself happy with his summer business, but admitted the frantic last-minute wheeling and dealing which saw him sign two players, had been an eye-opener.

Reading winger Tarique Fosu and Arsenal’s Finnish under-21 midfielder Glen Kamara became signings 13 and 14 of a busy few weeks for the rookie boss, the duo signing on-loan until January, just a few hours before the transfer window closed on Wednesday night.

McGreal will have to go with what he has got now, plus the players he has at his disposal in the club’s under-23s squad – the abolition of the emergency loan window putting paid to his chances of bringing in additional faces on short-term loans.

Ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with second-bottom Exeter City, a game that could see the U’s top the table by the end of the day, McGreal reflected on a busy few days, that also included the EFL Trophy defeat at Crawley on Tuesday night.

“It’s been hectic over the last three days, with what’s been going on (with transfers) and having had the game in the middle of it,” said McGreal.


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“It didn’t really help when we were trying to get players over the line, making and taking phonecalls.

“The phone did not stop on Monday and Tuesday, during which time we also had our preparation to do for the Crawley game, which we did.

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“You are switching from trying to get players in with agents to trying to get your game sorted and Tony (Humes, director of football) and Robbie (Cowling, chairman) did well to get them over the line.

“Robbie, Tony and Ian Moody (head of player resources) helped myself and Steve (Ball, assistant manager) to get things done properly.

“On the outside, I always wondered why did clubs leave their business until the last minute.

“Now I know there are so many bits and bobs to tie up. It’s been an eye-opener but enjoyable.”

With his squad in place and no more recruitment distractions, McGreal can concentrate on continuing his side’s solid start to the season, and working hard on tactics and strategies at the club’s impressive Florence Park Training Ground, which is a big feather in the U’s cap, according to the former Ipswich defender.

“We were quite confident of the deals going through and we highlighted areas we wanted to improve,” McGreal added.

“Glen knows of Colchester and our facilities but when Tarique came across I think he spoke to Callum Harriott and a couple of other boys that have been here and done well.

“The facilities are a big selling point for our club too and for League Two they are fantastic and I think that always helps get the players in.

“Getting them in at the training ground and letting them have a look at what we are doing always helps.”

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